Executive Branch

Democrats Complete Sweep of Orange County, Once a GOP Haven
Nearly two weeks after Election Day, Democrats won their fourth Republican-held seat there

Democrat Gil Cisneros’ race in the 39th District was the last Orange County race to be called. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With Democrat Gil Cisneros’ victory in California’s 39th District, Democrats have defeated all four Republicans in Orange County, an area former President Ronald Reagan once referred to as the place “where the good Republicans go before they die.”

Cisneros, a Navy veteran and lottery winner, defeated former GOP state Assemblywoman Young Kim in the increasingly diverse 39th District. He had garnered 50.8 percent of the vote compared to Kim’s 49.2 percent when the Associated Press called the race nearly two weeks after Election Day. He won by roughly 3,500 votes.

Trump and Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown — Strange Company on Climate Change?
President says his views, those of Brown and Gov.-elect Newsom, ‘not as different as people think’

President Donald Trump indicated Saturday that his views on climate change and those of California Gov. Jerry Brown and Gov.-elect Gavin Newson are “maybe not as different as people think.” (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Saturday stopped just shy of saying he believes climate change is a legitimate scientific phenomenon, a statement that likely would not sit well with his conservative base and most GOP lawmakers.

“We have different views but maybe not as different as people think. Things are happening. Things are changing,” he said aboard Air Force One in California, flanked by Gov. Jerry Brown and Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom.

Trump Heading to Mississippi to Give Hyde-Smith a Runoff Boost
Senator has drawn national headlines for controversial comments

Mississippi Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith faces Democrat Mike Espy in a Nov. 27 runoff. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump will make an eleventh-hour attempt to keep a Mississippi Senate seat in Republican hands later this month when he headlines two rallies there the day before a runoff election.

His campaign organization announced Saturday the president will hold two rallies on Nov. 26 on behalf of Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith. He will be in Tupelo at 5 p.m. and then in Biloxi three hours later.

Trump Casts Himself as Pelosi’s Speaker Savior
‘I can get Nancy Pelosi as many votes as she wants,’ president claims

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says she has ample support among Democrats to become the next speaker. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Saturday said he can twist enough House Republican arms to give Nancy Pelosi the necessary votes to become speaker.

The California Democrat publicly says she has ample support within her own caucus to secure the gavel. But all indications are a floor vote could be close, meaning Republicans could opt — for a list of reasons — to put her over the top.

Senate Human Rights Caucus Lauds Mike Pence for Pressuring Aung San Suu Kyi
Vice president reportedly called for pardoning of Reuters journalists

Sens. Thom Tillis, left, and Chris Coons, heads of the Senate Human Rights Caucus, are praising Vice President Mike Pence for pressuring Aung San Suu Kyi to release two Reuters journalists. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Vice President Mike Pence is getting bipartisan backing for pressing Aung San Suu Kyi over the imprisonment of two Reuters journalists in Myanmar.

Pence met with the state counsellor of the country, also known as Burma, in connection with his trip to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit, which has taken him countries across Asia, as well as Australia.

Trump Says He’s Giving Mueller Questions a Personal Touch
‘I’ve answered them very easily,’ the president says

Then-FBI Director Robert Mueller testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump implied Friday that he — and not his legal team — will be personally answering written questions from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

“I’ve answered them very easily. I’m working on them,” he told reporters during a bill-signing event in the Oval Office.

Trump Campaign Tests Out Nickname Game for 2020
NRSC, outside groups leaned into tactic to vanquish Heitkamp, Donnelly in midterms

Expect a batch of new nicknames for President Donald Trump's political opponents as the 2020 campaign heats up. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump’s campaign team is experimenting in its laboratory with potential nicknames for his potential opponents in the 2020 presidential election.

The president’s trademark campaign tactic from 2016 — the birth year of “Crooked” Hillary Clinton, “Little” Marco Rubio, and “Lyin’” Ted Cruz — became so ubiquitous in his speeches and campaign literature that it spawned an exhaustive Wikipedia list of everyone whose name Trump has manipulated for political gain.

Grassley Will Step into Tax Storm, Finance Gavel in Hand
Iowa Republican was a key player on big-ticket measures during his previous tenure as Finance chairman

Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, conducts a Senate Judiciary Committee markup in October. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Charles E. Grassley is expected to be the next chairman of the Finance Committee, putting the Iowa Republican at the center of the storm in the 116th Congress on what could be divisive debates over tax, trade and health care policy.

Grassley cited a sense of “optimism” fueled by the “pro-growth” policies of a Republican president and Congress. “Looking ahead. ... I want to continue to work to make sure that as many Americans as possible get to experience this good economy for themselves,” he said in a statement released Friday. “That means working to provide Americans with additional tax relief and tax fairness so they can spend more of their hard-earned money on what’s important to them.”

The Survivors: Three Republicans in Clinton Districts Hang On
A combination of individual brands and attacks on Democratic challengers helped them win

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., won re-election last week as his fellow Republicans in the suburbs lost. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans in districts Hillary Clinton won in 2016 were largely washed away in the Democratic wave last week — but three managed to hang on.

GOP Reps. John Katko of New York, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania and David Valadao all won their races on Tuesday, according to The Associated Press (though Valadao’s margin has narrowed with votes still being counted).

6 House Races, 1 Senate Race Still Uncalled as Mia Love Pulls Closer
Utah Republican trailed by 3 percent on election night, but is now only 873 votes down to Democratic challenger

Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, walks down the House steps after final votes of the week in the Capitol on March 8, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Officials have yet to determine the winners in one Senate contest and six House races — a week and a half after the midterm elections.

As the Florida Senate race between Sen. Bill Nelson and his GOP challenger, Gov. Rick Scott, heads to a manual recount, a federal judge called the state’s election processes “the laughing stock of the world.”